You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Childhood mates score gold for Australia

AAP logoAAP 14/09/2016 Lucy Hughes Jones

A friendship spanning more than 15 years has helped triple Paralympian Dylan Alcott and his rookie partner Heath Davidson come from behind to win Australia's first gold medal in quad doubles wheelchair tennis in Rio.

The duo produced a stunning comeback, fight back from double breaks in each of the three sets to defeat America's Nick Taylor and David Wagner 4-6 6-4 7-5 in the final on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST).

The victory makes Alcott one of a handful of Australians to win gold medals in two sports after switching from wheelchair basketball.

The world No.1 wheelchair tennis player in the quad class doubted the pair could pull off the win, but his childhood mate Davidson never lost faith.

"He's one of my best mates since I was 10 and to look at him on the court, so pumped up when I hit a winner, it just gives me that fire to go out there and dominate," Alcott said.

The reigning World Team Cup champions first began playing sport together while growing up in Melbourne.

"We were both obese," Alcott, 25, said.

"I needed to get fit and I met a mate and that gave me confidence to get more mates and to become the person that I am."

Alcott took the reins on court, booming instructions to his less experienced partner, who was happy to oblige.

"He yells at me halfway through points and that just gets me going .The more he yells, the better I play," Davidson said.

Alcott will back up on Wednesday (Thursday AEST) for his singles final against Great Britain's Andy Lapthorne.

"I'm going to get a massage because I'm cramping and I feel like I'm going to die right now, but I'll enjoy this with Heath and try to get to sleep and get up tomorrow and do it all again," he said.

Their US rivals were dejected after the match, and Taylor said there's been major changes to the classification system since he won his first title in quad doubles at Athens 2004.

"The people that we were playing against, their disabilities were much closer and truer to what we have. It was a much more level playing field," he said.

"I think anybody watching the match could see a major physical difference between not only myself, but even David compared to the people we're playing against. Anyone can see that."

It was Australia's eighth gold medal of the Games, to go with 17 silver and 15 bronze, keeping the nation in sixth place on the overall table on day six.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon